Monday, March 3, 2008

WORD: The Point of My View

The Point of My View:
Using Your POV to be P-U-B-L-I-S-H-E-D

by Gabrielle Linnell

To make it in today's publishing world, you must love Barney the Purple Dinosaur.

As teenagers, we are defined by our age, by the world around us. If we're looking to get published, we have to use this to our advantage. The dictums of Barney, of Impressionism, of postmodernism are all relevant here: unless you're in Journalism 101, it doesn't matter what the absolute truth is. We can all buy absolute truth on the internet. What matters is WHAT YOU THINK.

1. Using the POV to Break In. I have been published in magazines that don't normally publish teen writers. Why did they publish me? Because I wrote about being a teen writer. This idea of looking for opportunities to flaunt your age works in every publishing genre. Writing a short story? Make it about college applications, and inform your editor that you survived your own hurricane of college apps. Writing an article about childcare? Five years of babysitting experience makes you highly qualified.

The world is looking for a fresh take. We are teenagers. We are the fresh take.

2. Using the POV to Be a Barney-Lover. Forget age. Remember watching episodes of Barney the Purple Dinosaur where he told us he loved us and that we were all special? Veggie Tales, Arthur, Magic School Bus-- all the great nineties cartoons and kids' shows say the same thing. We are special. We are unique.

You could be reading Amazing Writing Magazine right now. You're not. I don't give objective publishing advice here-- I give my own publishing advice, and probably that's why you read. Because you like the way I see things. Because I'm special. Are you special? How does that come out in your writing?

3. Using the POV to Make it Different. You're writing a solicited submission*, which is a straightforward piece on text messaging. A boring article on text messaging. Think about the Impressionists, who knew they were special and fresh. They took scenes that were not naturally ground-breaking (scenes like gardens, ponds, fields) and took their specialty and made it different. Suddenly a poppy field becomes a dizzying palette of... amazement! What is this? Why hasn't it been done before?

Put your Barney-love and POV into action. Make it different.

Gabrielle Linnell has been published many times in magazines such as Cobblestone, ByLine, FACES, Once Upon a Time, and others. Her point of view on Project Runway is that Rami is talented, Christian is annoying but Jillian should win and give Gabrielle her entire collection out of gratitude for her support.


Melissa Walker said...

I'm so with you! It's such a great time to break into writing. I know I showed you this, but here's my take:


Gabrielle said...

I loved that article! The advice works, Melissa!

and congratulations on Violet by Design's release week! I'm looking forward to getting to a B&N this weekend to see where Violet's gotten herself. It times in perfectly, because I'm loosing my fashion fix (Project Runway) to a season finale tonight.